Saturday, November 1, 2014

Lysanias, Ruler of Abilene

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Hello friends! The following is evidence of Lysanias, ruler of Abilene. 
I will first post a quick introduction of 2 findings regarding Lysanias, then i'll present each finding separately.  
First a text taken from the "Antiquities of the jews" by Flavious Josephus in which he mentions Lysanias.
And Secondly the temple inscription found in 1737 from wikipedia. 
Unfortunately the actual temple inscription disappeared and the temple in which it was found was destroyed. However, we still have Josephus writings which also prove there was a ruler of Abilene by the name of Lysanias at the time Luke wrote his gospel (Credit given at the bottom of each article :D)


3 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,
2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;
16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
18 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.
19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,
20 Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
24 Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph,
25 Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge,
26 Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda,
27 Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri,
28 Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er,
29 Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi,
30 Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim,
31 Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David,
32 Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson,
33 Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,
34 Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor,
35 Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala,
36 Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,
37 Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,
38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

Praise The Lord JESUS CHRIST!!!

 (lī-sā'nĭ-ăs, Gr. Lysanias). Tetrarch of Abilene mentioned by Luke (3:1). The tetrarchy is a small region in Lebanon. There is no satisfactory explanation of the inclusion of this obscure non-Jewish ruler in the dating list. Epigraphical evidence frees the historian from the old allegation that he confused the tetrarch with an earlier ruler.

LYSANIAS lĭ sā’ nĭ əs (ΛυσανίαςG3384). Named by Luke as “tetrarch of Abilene” at the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry (Luke 3:1), prob. in a.d. 26. He is not mentioned elsewhere in the NT.
Josephus referred to a Lysanias who in 40 b.c. succeeded his father Ptolemy to the throne of Chalcis; he was put to death by Mark Anthony in 36 b.c. at the instigation of Cleopatra, upon whom the dominion was bestowed (Antiq. XV. iv. 1; XIV. xiii. 3; I. xiii. 1). Josephus also recorded that among the regions assigned by Agrippa I was the “tetrarchy of Lysanias” the emperors Caligula and Claudius to Herod (Antiq. XVIII. vi. 10; XIX. v. 1). Some scholars hold that there was no one named Lysanias who later ruled in those parts and that Luke therefore was guilty of a gross chronological blunder in naming Lysanias as a ruler in a.d. 26. Such an assumption seems very improbable in view of Luke’s established general accuracy.
It seems a necessary assumption that Josephus referred to two different men named Lysanias. Lysanias, the son of Ptolemy, bore the title of king, given him by Anthony (Dion Cassius, xlix, 32); but Josephus, in agreement with Luke, also mentioned a tetrarch. Their territory was not the same. The first, with his capital at Chalcis, ruled over a considerable area which included Abila, but was not called Abilene. Claudius bestowed upon Agrippa II “the tetrarchy of Lysanias” but took from him Chalcis (Antiq. xx. vii. 1; War II. xii. 8), Josephus thus expressly distinguished Chalcis from the tetrarchy of Lysanias.
An inscr. (CIG, 4521) discovered at Abila established that there was a later “Lysanias the tetrarch.” The inscr. related to the dedication of a temple contains the words, “on behalf of the salvation of the Lords Imperial and their whole household” by “Nymphaies, a freedman of Lysanias, the tetrarch.” The mention of “the Lords Imperial” may refer to the joint rule of Augustus and Tiberius (Leaney), placing the inscr. as late as a.d. 11, or, more prob., to Tiberius and his mother Julia (Ramsay), thus giving a time between a.d. 14 and 29. Clearly this establishes a tetrarch Lysanias at the very time that Luke mentions.

By Flavius Josephus
Translated by William Whiston

CHAPTER 7. Felix Is Made Procurator Of Judea; As Also Concerning Agrippa, Junior And His Sisters.

1. So Claudius sent Felix, the brother of Pallas, to take care of the affairs of Judea; and when he had already completed the twelfth year of his reign, he bestowed upon Agrippa the tetrarchy of Philip and Batanea, and added thereto Trachonites, with Abila; which last had been the tetrarchy of Lysanias; but he took from him Chalcis, when he had been governor thereof four years. And when Agrippa had received these countries as the gift of Caesar, he gave his sister Drusilla in marriage to Azizus, king of Emesa, upon his consent to be circumcised; for Epiphanes, the son of king Antiochus, had refused to marry her, because, after he had promised her father formerly to come over to the Jewish religion, he would not now perform that promise. He also gave Mariamne in marriage to Archelaus, the son of Helcias, to whom she had formerly been betrothed by Agrippa her father; from which marriage was derived a daughter, whose name was Bernice.

Lysanias in Luke

The Luke 3:1 mentions a Lysanias as tetrarch of Abilene in the time of John the Baptist.
According to Josephus the emperor Claudius in 42 confirmed Agrippa I in the possession of Abila of Lysanias already bestowed upon him by Caligula, elsewhere described as Abila, which had formed the tetrarchy of Lysanias:
"He added to it the kingdom of Lysanias, and that province of Abilene

Archaeological Lysanias

Two inscriptions have been ascribed to Lysanias. The name is conjectural in the latter case.
The first, a temple inscription found at Abila, named Lysanias as the Tetrarch of the locality.
The temple inscription reads:
Huper tes ton kurion Se[baston]For the salvation of the Au[gust] lords
soterias kai tou sum[pantos]and of [all] their household,
auton oikou, Numphaios Ae[tou]Nymphaeus, free[dman] of Ea[gle]
Lusianiou tetrarchou apele[utheors]Lysanias tetrarch established
ten odon ktisas k.t.lthis street and other things.
It has been thought that the reference to August lords as a joint title was given only to the emperor Tiberius (adopted son ofAugustus) and his mother Livia (widow of Augustus). If this analysis is correct, this reference would establish the date of the inscription to between 14 (when Tiberius began to reign) and 29 (when Livia died), and thus could not be reasonably interpreted as referring to the ruler executed by Mark Antony in 36 BCE. However, Livia received suitable honors while Augustus was still alive, such as "Benefactor Goddess" (Θεα Εύεργέτις) at a temple at Thassos, so there would be no clear reason that "August Lords" could not be Augustus and Livia.


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  2. Very good study. I think the reason for this seemingly senseless mention of Lysanias, serves for multiple reference points to testify of the time of Yashua's year of ministry. In the fifteenth year of Tiberius = 29/30 AD. During the reign of Pilate (26-36 AD), Antipas (20-40 AD), Philip (22-34 AD). Lysanias narrows it down further along with Tiberius' 15th year, nl. 29/30 AD. YHWH is awesome and leave NO stone unturned to secure His validity in Scripture.

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